The Redheads of Mmm...Doctor!

Title: Perfect Stranger
Author: Elizabeth

I walked into the er for yet another fun filled day of saving lives and wondering about my own. Ever since Mark died I'd been second guessing everything I've been doing. Should I have gone to Barbados? Should I have started girls night out? Where's my sister these days? Is Susie okay? And we're all wondering what's up with Kerry. Abby thinks she might actually be pregnant now and that's why she was sick on Halloween. I think we should stop talking about it around Frank. Carter thinks we should stop talking about it all together. I go to my locker and get my lab coat, say hi to Luka and make my way out again. The first thing I notice is Abby walking with what looks like a new nurse. Abby didn't want to be head of nurses but she sure does do a good job. I look over at them and am taken away by this woman. Not Abby but the newbie. I go over to talk to them.

“Hey Susan this is Alex Keegan. Alex this is Dr. Louis. She's one of the better doctors except when she's hung over.” Alex smiles at me and holds out her hand. I am still stunned by her and can't think of anything to say. Luckily I don't have to respond. Doris has just come banging in with an MVA. Unfortunately, Abby tells Alex to come with me so I stammer my way through the trauma. I somehow manage to stabilize this person who I'll never remember and call Elizabeth to assess for surgery. When Elizabeth comes in Alex greets her like an old friend and asks about Ella. I am jealous and I don't even know why. I pass off the patient and bolt before I have to talk to Alex because I don't think I can string two or more sentences together right now. I grab some charts and make my way to the lounge.

Kerry finds me an hour later still working on charts when I should be out there saving lives. “What are you doing in here?” She asks as she pours her coffee.

I look up, startled that she said anything and start to stammer again, “Oh well…you know…I'm behind on my charts and I thought I'd get them done before Romano has a fit…”

Kerry gives me this knowing look and sits down. “This wouldn't be about that new nurse? What's her name? You must know that one…about 5'6” with short, choppy red hair that has blonde highlights…kind of cute…”

I look down at my charts but can already feel a blush coming to my face. “Um…no I think I just have charts to do…”

“Well whatever is going on or is not going on with you and her I already had one complaint from Abby and was asked to talk to you. She would but it seems you're avoiding nurses today. It also seems you're avoiding work. I want you back out there now.”

I nod and make my way to the door. I'm almost there when Kerry says in a softer voice, “Susan what you might be going through is completely normal, but my advice is this: take a week or so and figure out what you want out of this. Alex is a very nice woman. Get to know her before you decide you can't stand to be in a room with her because of the thoughts you might have. If you need to talk I'm here.” I nod again and leave before Kerry can say more because if she does I will start to cry and relay the thought's I've been having ever since Mark died, or maybe even before that I don't really know anymore.

“Susan! A little help here please.” I look over and see Abby rushing into trauma one with Alex. Lovely. I make my way into the room and see a little girl on a gurney and very wet. “Give me the bullet”

Alex begins to talk, “Six year old female found in a pond unconscious and hypothermic…” she's still talking about blood pressure and pulse ox and I'm doing my best to listen. After she's done I take a deep breath and tell myself to suck it up and save this little girl, “Okay CBC chem. Panel, get me some heated saline and a bear hugger. We aren't losing her everyone lets go!”

Forty five minutes later we're rolling her up the peds icu and I'm telling her parents that she'll be just fine. I look at my watch. I still have four hours to go. At this rate I'll end up in icu myself. I deposit the girls chart in the holder and decide to go eat. However, before I get to make an escape Alex is upon me again. She taps my shoulder and says, “Hey that was an awesome save.”

“Oh thanks. I just hope she wakes up.” I'm really hungry. I want a sandwich and a Coke to calm my nerves.

“She will. She's young, they bounce back quickly.”

“True,” I look at this woman in front of me and realize I'm never going to get to lunch unless I just invite her with me. “So I was going to get some lunch. You game?”

“Sounds good to me.” She says it so easily.

With that we head over to Doc Magoo's. I order my sandwich and a coke and Alex gets a grilled cheese with mozzarella instead of cheddar, and a coke as well. We sit in silence until the drinks arrive and Alex looks up at me with beautiful green eyes. “So let's cut to the chase here. You've only met me a few hours ago. Why do you hate me?”

Ouch. That one hurt. I look up at her in surprise, “Alex I don't hate you. Quite the opposite. You confuse me.”

“I confuse you? Well now you're confusing me.” I don't know but I think I just saw a hint of a smile.

I take a deep breath and try to explain, “You're beautiful. By looking at you I am forced to think about something that I don't normally think about. Something I've pushed down into the depths of my brain, but every time you talk or smile or even look at me it makes its way back up. I'm sorry I gave you the impression that I hated you but that's not true, I just get flustered when you're around.”

She seems content with this and our lunch arrives a minute later. We eat and talk about other things like Mark's death and Elizabeth and Ella. Turns out she lives right next to them on Dupott drive. This is something I set in the back of my head to ponder. We talk until my pager goes off and I am forced to leave this booth and be sucked back into the er vortex. Alex and I enter together, something that isn't missed by Kerry who gives me a look I've never seen before. A cross between a smile and a questioning look. I have no time to ponder this, however, because Doris has just come in and is giving me the bullet. I'll have to ponder it another time.

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